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Letter Calls for Novstrup to Resign over Watered-Down Ride Rules

The Aberdeen American News gives poorly prioritized, unbalanced, and incomplete coverage of yesterday’s Brown County candidates’ forum. I’ll provide a complete rundown when A-TEC video producer Wayne Hansen makes the full video of the event available online.

The Aberdeen paper also waits until the day after the forum to reprint Seth Tupper’s review of Rep. Al Novstrup and Senator David Novstrup’s self-interested watering down of a 2014 bill offered to improve amusement park safety. A couple pages ahead of the Tupper article comes a letter from Spearfish attorney Reed C. Richards calling for Rep. Novstrup’s resignation:

This self-serving response by Novstrup is the standard in Pierre. These “conservatives” are really there just to make sure that their private business interests and profits are not compromised by such “liberal” efforts to ensure public safety on amusement park rides. Again and again, the conservatives in Pierre put their personal profit ahead of public interest.

Over regulation? Really Al? You ought to resign in shame [Reed C. Richards, letter to the editor, Aberdeen American News, 2016.09.25].

Such self-serving regulation-rigging violates both conservatism and the mandate of an elected official to serve the common good over selfish interest. But such is the bad government we get under one-party rule.


  1. Lee Schoenbeck 2016-09-25 08:50

    So former Democrat legislator Reed Richards doesn’t like a Republican legislative candidate – that’s a shocker

  2. grudznick 2016-09-25 08:54

    Just because a Spearditch lawyer calls Novstrup the Elder (I assume he meant former Senator Novstrup, not current Senator Novstrup) “self-serving” does not mean it is so. Although I think all the legislatures are self-serving to a certain point. But I just bet you that if Mr. Novstrup had a blog he’d be out educating the public on his areas of expertise such as carnival rides instead of complaining about the failures of the Democrat party to get many butts in seats.

  3. mike from iowa 2016-09-25 09:27

    Grudzilla- some day when you are dying from listeria or salmonella from tainted gravy taters, I want you to remember the regulations that would have protected you from crud were put in place by dems and then totally removed by right wing nut jobs. Be sure to thank wingnuts for bringing about your demise so korporate amerika could make just a little more profit over your dead body.

  4. Rorschach 2016-09-25 09:54

    Good to hear from you Lee, but I think you missed the point of the Reed Richards letter.

  5. Mark Winegar 2016-09-25 13:36

    Legislators ought to serve the best interests of all the people rather than their self-interests. Anyone unable to do so is unfit to serve.

  6. John Wrede 2016-09-26 08:59

    When we finally reach a point where some legislators can distinguish between dislike of ideas behavior and dislike of personalities, we might make progress in cleaning up the political pollution in our State…… There can be nothing in what Richards said that would indicate he doesn’t like Novstrup as a person but everything in the letter that indicates his loathing of the self dealing and obvious, wanton disregard for his public trust responsibilities as a legislator. That is the filth of politics that needs to be cleaned up and sanitized throughout this country. Novstrup might be a pretty nice person in other contexts but when it comes to legislating and serving the public interest, Tupper’s good investigative article uncovers everything that is wrong with the Novstrup philosophy and nefarious approach to managing the public’s affairs. He should toss in the towel, along with all those others that collaborated and conspired with him to promulgate just one more travesty of sophomoric law making in South Dakota’s legislature.

  7. Joe Nelson 2016-09-26 15:40

    Could you please go into detail on how the article was poorly prioritized, unbalanced, and had incomplete coverage.

    I can see it being incomplete, as I am sure you and Novtrup talked about more the Ag taxes.

  8. leslie 2016-09-26 16:10

    lee-that’s like me saying you didn’t carry a bill for the governor to slap the hands of the tribes for attempting to change the name of Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak (which was successful despite your effort but now you have created a pro-white loop-hole, for everyone. “– that’s a shocker.”

    “When we finally reach a point where some legislators can distinguish between dislike of ideas, behavior and dislike of personalities, we might make progress in cleaning up the political pollution in our State….along with all those others that collaborated and conspired with him to promulgate just one more travesty of sophomoric law making in South Dakota’s legislature.” Wrede’s hole in-one

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-26 16:20

    Joe, as we’ll be able to see when the video finally becomes available online, we candidates each made opening and closing statements, plus responses to five questions. The AAN quoted the following candidates:

    Opening statements: no one.

    Q1 on IM21, the 36% rate cap: no one.

    Q2 on campaign finance reform: no one.

    Q3 on meth and opioid addiction: Bootz and Briscoe (both Dems).

    Q4 on refugees: Dennert and Kaiser (both GOP).

    Q5: ag productivity tax: Heidelberger and Novstrup (one Dem, one GOP).

    Closers: no one.

    On only one question did AAN provide direct quotes from directly opposing candidates and members of each party represented. On refugees, AAN quoted only those fearful of and/or opposed to refugee resettlement (Kaiser says help them where they are rather than bringing them to America) and gave no ink to the three Democrats who said refugees are not a problem but an opportunity for America to live up to its ideals and do good.

    Of the three questions selected, only the ag productivity tax touches directly and centrally on the Legislative purview. As Kaiser and I agreed, solving drug addiction isn’t going to happen in Pierre. As Briscoe pointed out, refugee resettlement, like immigration as a whole, is decided by federal policy, not anything we will work on in Pierre. AAN ignored two pressing election issues, payday lending and campaign finance reform, both of which are on the ballot. On IM21, 5 of 6 candidates agreed—36% rate cap is good!—which agreement is newsworthy all on its own.

    Poorly prioritized—focused on lesser issues.

    Unbalanced: didn’t provide equal Dem/GOP content on 2 of 3 Qs.

    Incomplete: left out numerous issues and candidate comments. Basically, the paper gave each candidate one quote on one issue out of the five addressed and out of the seven speeches/responses made. Any voter reading the article gets a mere fraction of a picture of how the candidates compare on an array of issues.

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